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Browsing: Adams Family Correspondence, Volume 5


Search for a response to this letter.

Docno: ADMS-04-05-02-0221

Author: Cranch, Mary Smith
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1784-08-07

Mary Smith Cranch to Abigail Adams

Long e'er this time I hope my dear Sister and Cousin have sat their Feet upon the British shore, and been made happy by the sight of their long absent Friends. Your mind must have been greatly agitated as you drew near the place where you expected to meet them, uncertain as you were whether the first inteligence would produce you the most exquisite pleasure, or the most Poignant distress. I hope you are all as Happy as this checkerd scene will permit you to be. Time will hang heavy upon me till I hear from you. I long to have the particulars of your voyage. If you was well enough to keep a journal pray send it me. I have miss'd two oppertunitys of writing to you, by not knowing of them, till it was too late. Betsy happen'd to be in Boston when one Vessell Saild and wrote by it.1 I hope you have receiv'd it. My Letters my dear Sister will not be compos'd of Politicks; I am entirly out of the line of them. Now you are absent from me I know you expect Subjects in which your Heart is more interested. The week after you left us Mr. Tyler and I carried Louissa and Polly to Lincoln and brought back Betsy.2 We found sister and her Family Well, and seemingly very happy. Sure I am She is very com• { 420 } fortably supply'd with every neccessary. Louissa shed many a Tear at being left, but I hear She soon got reconcil'd to her situation. Betsy is still with me. Lucy return'd With Mr. Shaw when he was here at commencment. When she comes home Betsy will go. We had a letter from Lucy Last Week. Sister Shaw and your dear Boys were well. Sisters Health is much mended by her journey this Spring. Billy and Betsy3 are now upon a visit of a week to Haverhill. We have had a sharp drought, scarcly a drop of rain for six weeks after you left us. Since that we have had frequent showers and things begin to revive. Every Body supposes you must have had a very short Passage, by the constant strong west winds we have had and by the uncommonly long Passages all the vessels from Europe have had. Capt. Beals was out sixty Days. He has brought a fine Family of children with him, five Sons and a little Daughter. Mrs. Beals is a Handsome amiable, Well-Bred woman exceedingly affable.4 She did not wait for a visit from me, but call'd upon us herself, (which oblig'd me especially as I was not at home when they came)5 to make her a very earley visit. If he has not brought with him too great a Tast for the Luxurys of Europe, they will be a pritty addition to our Neighbourhood. All the genttry that have come into the Town for these Several years have rather injur'd than other ways our morals. Mr. T-m-es Negro girl is dead: she was a misirable object. Mrs. T. is affraid to sleep above stairs since her death. She is affraid of a visit from her—O conscience how faithfully thou doest thy office! Mr. T. is gone to the West Indies, and since the Death of the poor Negro she is affraid also to sleep without a Man—in the next Parlour at least, and as nobody appear'd so unapropriated as Josiah Veasy she has chosen him for a protector and given him an asylum in her House. Scandal hold thy Tongue.6
Aunt Tufts has been very sick but is better. The Docr. will I suppose write. I have made several visits to your House, but I dont Love too. It has a dismal look. Pheby keeps it in nice order. It is sweept and every thing that wants it, rub'd once a week. She looks very happy and would be so I believe if some of the Neighbours did not trouble her. She says She Believes they think that you left her your Almoner, for she cannot think that they can Suppose her able to supply all their wants. They impose upon her sadly. I design'd to have told you long before now that your Mother Hall, and your Brother Adams's Family are well. I think your Mother has been better this summer than usual. We have visited each other as often as we could. She has din'd with me twice. I should have seen her to day if I had not been writing to you. You may depend upon my utmost attention to her { 421 } Health and Happiness. I suppose Mr. Tyler will write, he is well. Tell Cousin Nabby that she has left a sorrowful looking Picture behind her. I dont like it.
Mr. Cranch is well. Betsy has had her Health very well for her, has been upon a visit of three weeks at Weymouth return'd last week. Old Mr. Nightingail is dead, and old Mrs. Savil also. Both died very suddenly, the former was found dead in his Bed, the later walk'd out in the Garden the Day before her death, and about an hour before she died she smook'd her Pipe and drank a dish of Tea, layd her head upon her Pillow and said “Tis over,” and expir'd without a Pang. They both died on the same day. Delight Newcomb langushes still, without any prospect of recovering. I think I have given a purty particular account of your Friends and acquaintance. Our Germantown Friends must not be forgot, nor our good Uncle Quincy, they are well as usual. Miss Paine wrote to you Some time past,7 but was too late for the vessel. Cousin Palmers Family mov'd to Boston this Day—and now my dear sister, the companion of my youth, My sweet Friend, when will you return? Can you conjecture? My days will, they must be lonely till you do. Let me participate in all your amusements. You my sister are one of the sentimental Travellers. You love your Pen and I expect much entertainment. Yesterday I went to see Deacon Adams.8 He had the misfortune to break his Thigh about Twelve days ago. A cart ran over it. Tis Set and we hope he will do well.
I want a Wilton carpit for our best room. It measures five and an half yards one way, and four and three quarters the other. I have been told that it can be had for five Shillings a yard in London. It will take about Twenty five yards if we get the yard wide. I should rather have it in one piece. Will you be so kind as to inquire what you can get one for? I hop'd to have sent you a Bill by this conveyence, but I have not got the money yet. You know where I expected it. Give my best regards to [Mr.?] Adams and my Cousins and accept the best wishes of your ever affectionate sister
[signed] Mary Cranch
RC (Adams Papers); addressed: “To Mrs. Abigail Adams Lady of his Excellency John Adams Esqr. at Paris or at the Hague”; endorsed by JQA : “Mrs. Cranch. Augt. 7th. 1784.” Slight damage where the seal was cut out.
1. Letter not found. See AA to Elizabeth Shaw, 28 July, and AA2 to Elizabeth Cranch, 30 July, both above.
2. Louisa Catharine Smith, Mary (Polly) Smith, and Elizabeth (Betsy) Smith were all daughters of AA 's brother, William Smith Jr., and Louisa Catharine Salmon Smith. William had permanently left his family shortly before this date.
3. William Cranch and Elizabeth Cranch. The “Betsy” who was to go to Haverhill when Lucy Cranch returned was Elizabeth Smith.
4. Capt. Benjamin Beale, a Braintree native, and his English-born wife settled in the { 422 } Squantum district in the 1780s, but built a home just west of the Adams' Old House in 1792, which still stands. Their sons Benjamin Jr. and George were good friends of the Adamses well into the nineteenth century. See AA2, Jour. and Corr. , 2:124; JQA, Diary , 2:166, and note 1, 267–272 passim; and Pattee, Old Braintree and Quincy , index.
5. Opening parenthesis supplied.
6. Mr. and Mrs. “T-m-es” and their servant have not been identified. A Josiah Veasey (Veazie; Vessy) had seen military service in 1776, and was listed as paying a poll tax in 1792. See Pattee, Old Braintree and Quincy , index.
7. On 7 July, above.
8. Ebenezer Adams.

Docno: ADMS-04-05-02-0222

Author: Cranch, Richard
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1784-08-12

Richard Cranch to John Adams

[salute] Dear Brother

After a long Interval, I had Yesterday the great Happiness of receiving your esteemed Favour of the 3d. of April. I immediately sent the inclosed1 to Mr. Tyler. I have not seen him since your Letter came to his Hand.
When I consider the amazing Exertions of Mind that you must have been continually making, and the Anxieties that must necessarily have prey'd upon your Spirits while Events of the greatest Magnitude hung in Suspence and Uncertainty, I do not wonder that your bodily Machine has suffer'd and been much worn, under such various Pressures of Fatigue from without, and Agitations from within. I rejoice however to hear that your Health is better. The Arrival of your “dear Girls” in Capt. Lyde (which I hope has taken place before this time) will, I doubt not, greatly facilitate your Recovery, by renewing those pleasing domestick Attentions that will in some degree efface those disagreeable Impressions which an incessant Application to the most knotty and perplexing Affairs must have imprinted deep on your Mind.
I hope you will not be disappointed in your Plan of coming home next May. I wish it might be sooner. You have a very great Number of Friends in all Parts of this Commonwealth who earnestly wish for your Arrival here before April.2 We now wish more than ever to hear from Europe, as the Object of our Love and anxious Concern there is enlarged. May God preserve your most faithfull Friend, the Partner of your Cares; and your amiable Children; and return you and them again to America in Safety!
At the Desire of the Honble. C. Tufts Esqr. I have enclosed to you a very sensible Sermon preached before the General Assembly last Election, by your old Friend and Class-Mate the Revd. Moses Hemmingway of Wells.3 I also want you to read a Piece of Divinity that is like to make a great Noise in the World, written by Doctr. Chauncy { 423 } of this Town, but printed in London this Year, by Dilly.4 The Doctor has not put his Name to it. The old Gentleman has favour'd me with the reading of one of them that was sent over to him by Doctr. Price. His Design is to prove from Scripture that the eternal Salvation of all the human Race will be the final Issue, sooner or later, of Christ's mediatorial Undertaking; tho' perhaps various successive States of Discipline, after the present, may be necessary to take place before the most hardened Sinners shall be brought to true Repentance and such a State of moral Rectitude as to fit them for Happiness. The Plan is great, and benevolent; and, I think, supported in a masterly manner.
Our Friend Deacn. Ebzr. Adams has met with a bad Misfortune about 3 Weeks ago by a Cart, which broke his Thigh; we hope he is in a good way of Recovery. Your Mother and Brother and Family are as well as usual. Your fine Boys at Haverhill were well a few Days ago. Our children are all three gone there on a Visit, so that they will have a joyous time of it. My Family and Mr. Tyler were well when I left home a few Days ago, as were also all our Friends in Braintree, Weym[outh], Hingham &c. Mr. Thaxter is making Tryal of the Practice of Law at Haverhill; I have not yet heard what his Success has been.

[salute] The inclosed Letter is from my dear Partner to her Sister5—to whome and your children I beg to be kindly remember'd. I am, with the warmest Sentiments of Esteem and Friendship, your affectionate Brother.

[signed] Richard Cranch
1. JA to Royall Tyler, 3 April, above.
2. In time for Massachusetts' annual election for governor; JA 's friends had hoped for over a year that he would return to oppose John Hancock for the governor's chair.
3. Enclosure not found. Moses Hemmenway, A Sermon Preached before His Excellency . . . May 26, 1784. Being the Day of General Election, Boston, 1784. Hemmenway, Harvard 1755, a moderate to liberal Calvinist and a staunch Whig, was much admired by JA from their college days, and JA visited the pastor at Wells, Maine, while riding his law circuit in the 1770s, and corresponded with him. See JA, Diary and Autobiography , 1:357, 359; 3:260; Sibley's Harvard Graduates , 13:609–618.
4. If enclosed, not found. Charles Chauncy, The Mystery Hid from Ages . . . or, The Salvation of All Men, London, 1784. Printed in London because of the scarcity of Greek and Hebrew typeface in Boston, the work capped the long career of this ardent Arminian and Whig preacher, then in his eightieth year ( Sibley's Harvard Graduates , 6:439–467, esp. p. 458–459).
5. Mary Cranch to AA , 7 Aug., above.